Week Eight! Can you believe it? Two full months we’ve been apart. Here’s what our Scool Director, Serin Stanford has been up to. Enjoy!
Hi! My name is Serin Stanford. I am the Director of St. Martin’s Episcopal School as well as the wife of Father Bill Stanford from St. Christopher Episcopal Church. During this unprecedented time, I’ve tried to make the most of the situation and time we have been given. I have had more time to pray with Bill. I am now able to join him for virtual morning and evening prayer with our congregation. I have had time with my daughter Meagan, who just finished her last year at UT Austin. (Hook ‘em horns!) She and I have cooked many meals (she is vegan, so it has been fun coming up with something for everyone), walked many miles (we are tracking a family of ducks), and cried through many work out videos (Have y’all tried MadFit?…Ouch!) My son Marshall was home for the beginning of the pandemic and then returned to surprise me on Mother’s Day! Bill and I have been able to complete many home projects, including extending our back patio and working in our garden. This has been a wonderful time for family and an interesting challenge for the school. 
St. Martin’s Episcopal School has taken this bowl of lemons and made lemonade. Although we miss our students terribly, we have been in contact by phone, text, email and Zoom. We have loved our online distance learning. Our St. Martin’s Distance Learning Facebook Page and our Distance Learning Page on our website are full of learning activities, story times, science lessons, Chapel lessons, PE classes, Spanish lessons, music videos and more. The teachers have had bi-weekly Zoom classes and packets of activities to keep the children engaged in learning. Thursday, May 14, we had a Hawaiian themed socially distant drive thru to pick up the end of the year scrapbooks and gifts. The school year wrapped up with a slideshow of all the fun pictures for the year and a tribute to the graduates on which Ms. Amy Osterhoff has worked so very hard. 
While this whole process has presented challenges that we never anticipated, I have been awed and inspired by the dedication, creativity, and commitment of our teachers. In a time where it would be easy to give up or to do the minimum required, each and every one of them stepped up and made this experience more fun and manageable for our kids and parents. As for me, I got to experience the adventure of teaching Chapel via Zoom from my living room. You may not know how it feels to dance and sing “God is Wild” by yourself while being recorded, but I’m sure you can imagine. This situation has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone with videos, Zoom calls, and generally adapting to technology. I hope to come out of this equipped with more skills and confidence. I have also attended more meetings than I ever imagined was possible. We are having meetings about meetings to plan meetings. Through it all though I am so grateful for the team around me and all the hard work they are putting in to make this run smoothly. I couldn’t ask for more dedicated colleagues and have been overwhelmed by the support of my family. I look forward to hopefully getting back to normal soon, but for now I will just enjoy the ducks…